Duluth’s effort to build a home for a Northland family in need is gaining steam. And at 8 a.m. Tuesday, volunteers have been invited to take part in a pep rally at Wessman Arena on the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus.
Builders Commonwealth, a Duluth-based build/design cooperative, is coordinating preparations for the arrival of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
On Aug. 3, the show’s host, Ty Pennington, will knock on a door somewhere within 35 miles of Duluth and will inform a local family of plans to rebuild their home in 10 days flat. Five families are in the running.
All labor, materials and costs for the project are to be donated, and so far, the Twin Ports community has proven it’s up to the challenge.
"Everyone in the community has stepped up," said Jim Naus, a salesman for Builders Cooperative and coordinator for the project. "There have been very few no’s."
So far, about 100 different entities have each agreed to provide $1,000 or more of support for the initiative, either in the form of skilled labor, materials, food, various supplies or financial gifts, according to Naus.
On top of that, 900-plus general volunteers have stepped forward to offer their services. The outpouring of support has been so phenomenol that coordinators say they no longer need help from the general public.
If you’re a skilled professional in the building trades, however, organizers would still welcome your help with the project.
To volunteer or check out updates on the effort, click here.
Based on the level of support for the project he has witnessed, Naus said he’s now approaching this daunting construction task with confidence.
"There’s no nail-biting about how we’re going to get this done any more," he said. "We’ve lined up a lot of professionals who have built a lot of houses."